Law enforcement will step up DUI enforcement over the summer. Law enforcement will really step it up over the holidays, starting with Memorial Day weekend, and simmering down after Labor Day. It's starting now. Memorize these tips. They may come in handy over the holidays.
1. If you drive during the summer holidays, and you plan on having a cocktail or two, make sure you know where your license, registration and proof of insurance are. Police historically write in their DUI reports (putting only facts that harm you in them) that the suspect "fumbled for his wallet" and couldn't find his registration. They use this to try to show you were impaired. Be prepared.
2. When you get signaled by the officer to pull over by the officer for a DUI assessment, do so immediately and safely. Roll down your window and put your hands on the steering wheel.
3. If an officer asks you if you know why you are being pulled over, remember you don't have to answer. What a dumb question! He knows why he is pulling you over. He is pulling you over to assess you for drunk driving, and he's using the fact that you might have committed some minor vehicle code violations as an excuse. Don't make any admissions to him. So, you can just ask him, "why?"
4. The next question the officer is likely to ask is, "Have you had anything to drink tonight." Remember your rights? You are not required to speak to officers. I know, I know, you think, "But if I don't talk to the officer, he will be mad." Let him be. You are not at a social gathering; he is not invited to your New Year's day party. So don't worry about how he feels. He is collecting evidence against you. Don't give him any. It is best to say, "Officer, I appreciate what you do for a living, but I don't wish to answer any of your questions." You do NOT have to answer. The less from you he gets, the better for you in the long run. He is gathering evidence. But, you say, maybe he will let me go if he knows I'm being honest with him. NO. Most people who are pulled over and have alcohol on their breath get arrested. It's just a fact of life. Don't give him anything to put in that report that he can use against you later.
5. He may then say, "I'd like you to complete a series of tests for me." Again, let him know that you do not wish to participate in any tests. You are not required to comply. Officers try to give a series of field tests to determine if you are impaired. I have NEVER known any officer to do these as per the standardized protocol. I hold a certification authorized by the United Stated Department of Transportation to administer these tests, and was required to pass a practical and written test to get that certification given by a nationally known sergeant with the Idaho State Police. Cops learn how to do these, and then promptly forget them, making up their own "tests." Do not do them. Do NOT let the officer collect more false "evidence" against you. Just reiterate that you do not wish to perform and tests. It's your right.
6. The DUI investigation officer may then tell you he wants you to take an in field breath, hand held, breath test. Do not take this "test." It is unreliable, and regularly exhibits blood alcohol numbers higher than what you really are. The cop really, really wants you to do this now, because you have made no statements, and you have refused his field "tests." He wants this badly. He NEEDS some evidence. Do not do it. You are NOT required to blow into the little hand held machine.
7. The officer will most likely arrest you, cuff and take you downtown. You will be required to take a breath or blood test. You must choose to take one of these tests, or he will take what is called a "forced blood test" and your driver's license will be suspended for a 90 days or more.
A few pointers: If you are still absorbing alcohol, the breath test will read high. It is also an INDIRECT measurement of blood alcohol level. If you take blood, you won't get a result for at least a week. Also, SDPD and Sheriff's don't use the proper amount of sodium fluoride and potassium oxalate in the blood tubes, so you can attack those results later. Personally, I wouldn't let anyone hired by the city or county to draw my blood, after learning all I know about the incompetence of the people drawing the blood, and the lack of sanitations protocol in place. Why risk infection?
If you are arrested, you will be released within 12 hours on your promise to appear. You will received a yellow piece of paper called a "AST 60)." This document tells you that you, or your lawyer, must call the Department of Public Safety within ten days of the arrest to secure a hearing to determine whether or not the DPS will take your license. Do not miss this deadline or you will be suspended automatically.
So, be careful. Don't drink and drive if you can help it. Drive safely. Don't talk to cops. Be polite, but do not let them gather inculpatory evidence against you. If you get arrested call Polson & Robbins. 205 252-7000